Double Standard

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Many have written – mostly recently our own Yaakov Menken on Cross-Currents on Jan 11 – to the effect that it is unfair to associate Charedim with NK. While indeed extremely unfortunate, this association in the public mind is, in my view, not unfair.

Every societal group must bear responsibility for the natural outcome of its own values. Accordingly, while Charedim may be within their rights to join those who label Boruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir as natural by-products of what is to them a misguided religious zionist movement, Charedim cannot simultaneously attempt to distance themselves from the natural by-products of their own movement. As orthodox Jews charged with carrying out their affairs to the highest possible degree of authenticity and probity, Religious Zionists and Charedim each must honestly acknowledge and attempt to root out their respective problem areas. Failure to even attempt to do so, on either side of the aisle, gives the clearest indication of values truly held, not merely espoused.

On the Charedi side of the ledger the following contrast is interesting, though not necessarily dispositive: In Monsey last year a local citizen was publicized as a brazen seller of non-kosher chickens purposely labeled as kosher in outrageous disregard to the community’s sensitivities. In Monsey a few months later a local citizen was publicized as a leader of the NK effort to brazenly embrace Iranian leadership while purposely dancing on the ashes of our exterminated grandparents and further endangering 5 million Jews in Israel in outrageous disregard to the community’s sensitivities. The chicken seller was run out of town, mainly by Charedim. For some reason the Iran-kisser is happily ensconced at home. This is not a call for action, but merely a vignette which understandably could be interpreted by the public as an indication of the values truly held.

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45 Responses

  1. Jewish Observer says:

    “They are the heirs of those who opposed Sorah Schnirer ”

    I don’t believe that is true. Rav Shach, for example, was very much for Batei Yaakov, but fits the mold of the charedi you disparage. All I am saying is that your very strong arguments are a kasha, not a terutz.

  2. ariel krakowski says:

    “How can you compare someone who knowingly sabotages kashruth with a group of people who mistakenly think they are involved in saving Jewish lives by pandering to the enemy!”

    they r worse than traif-chicken sellers, they r helping murderers.
    ahamanijad, arafat, etc. all were very happy to have the nk’s support because it helped them. the nk’s support iran because it wants to annihilate the jews in israel.

    i pray for the nk’s 3 times every day in the bracha that was written for them:
    and for the slanderers let there be no hope… may You speedily uproot, smash cast down, and humble the wanton sinners…

    they do it partly b/c their insane, partly b/c theyr’e evil and also because they get money. arafat didn’t just pay hirsch, nk protestors r often payed.

  3. L.Oberstein says:

    I am a little late in responding but since you asked. I believe that within the “Torah true camp”, there are various approaches and each has value. The part of the Israeli chareidi world that most troubles me is heir to the most ultra conservative approach, that nothing new is permitted, not secular education,not trade school, no innovation. They are the heirs of those who opposed Sorah Schnirer when she wanted to educate girls since it hadn’t been done before .Even if they have a Bais Yaakov , it isn’t like our’s where girls can take college courses in 12th grade and then go to seminaries that give them a bachelors so they can get a masters degree and support the best boy in Lakewood. The history of European Jewry is one of loss and more loss. This led some to circle the wagons, not allow anyone to change anything. For example, some Chasidic rebbes would not let one be a part of the group if they cut off their payos. It was prefereable to throw them out rather than countenance any change. The result was that the forces of change were defeating those who would not recalibrate. Read any history book that isn’t sugar coated, e.g. The Biogfraphy of Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin. If there are some who chose to live this way, that is their perogative. My concern is that we should not have a sense of inferiority to them and think we have to emulate them.
    In the United States, our gedolim started with only a small core of people and today, the numbers have grown exponentially. Everyone recognizes that orthodoxy is flourishing here. Let the Meah Shearim people live in a time warp, but don’t ever think that their approach is more true or even consistent with Jewish tradition,they are an extreme reaction to Haskala and Zionism, and their approach was only one of many reactions, not the only or the best reaction to changing times.
    In any event, anyone who has internet is going against everything these chareidim believe and so we are already treif.

  4. Michoel says:

    Rabbi Oberstein,
    I don’t entirely disagree with your points but if you don’t want your readers to put their heads in the sand, you shouldn’t do so yourself. Please explain on what basis this statement is objectively verifiable:

    “I want the Jewish People to survive and we in America have found what works.”

    Is there less assimilation in the US? Please quote hard numbers. Are the talmidei chachamim in the US greater? Is there less mental illness? Divource? A more successful t’shuvah movement? Does the average American frum Jew have a stronger sense of kesher to Torah and Mitzvos than the Israeli Frum Jew? Yes, poverty relative to the general population, is worse in EY but even that is beginning to change as a consequence of tuitions. So please explain clearly by what objective measure you are certian that American Yiddishkeit “works” better than Israeli.

  5. Bob Miller says:

    Baruch Horowitz said above,
    “I am wondering if bloggers are the first ones to use the term “Charedism”.”

    Maybe the next step is for Chareidim to speak of bloggism, and rightly so.

  6. Jewish Observer says:

    “Just put your head in the sand, if it makes you feel like you are better than me”

    yes, but only at a separate swimming beach

  7. L.Oberstein says:

    When the American Agudah has its annual Yarcchei Kallah in Yerushalayim, people who have jobs as accountants, lawyers and businessmen come to learn. In the Israeli charedi world even getting a high school diploma, much less a college degree is forbidden.
    There was a glimmer of hope as more and more chareidi women and some men were getting professional training leading to good paying jobs. Now, it seems that it is forbidden to get a college equivelent degree from a frum school because some of the teachers may be “mizrachi” . Perhaps you missed Rabbi Adlerstein’s article on “Are we next”.
    I asked Rav Dovid Cohen last week if it is true that people now say that they have to ask American shailos to rabbis in Israel as no one in America is worth asking. He answered that he deals with this every day.
    Never in Jewish history was a society built on every male learning and glorifying poverty. Rabbi Berel Wein has often pointed out that poverty is not a positive goal. It leads to many bad consequences. If you knew any Jewish History, true history not chareidi fairy tales, you would know that every advance such as Bais Yaakov Schools were fought by a certain element. The Tchorkover rebbe wanted to have a “cheder klali” that would include trade school. He was forced to not do it by opposition. Boruch Hashem, that we have had gedolim in America who didn’t resist all change and were open to dealing with reality, not just walling ourselves off . In America, Orthodoxy is flourishing, because we had gedolim like Rav Ruderman and Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky,etc.
    The Yishuv Hayashan approach has failed for a long time and there is a constant loss to secularism. Just put your head in the sand, if it makes you feel like you are better than me. I want the Jewish People to survive and we in America have found what works.

  8. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “My main concern is that my own grandchildren are being raised in this system .”

    I think others have that concern. If I was a chraedi rabbinic or layleader, I would read blogs, and try to respond to people’s concerns through some form of communication, media or otherwise. Certain things can not be changed because they are core charedi philosophy, but others may be able to be slowly changed.

    “In any event the standards of modern “frumkeit” are largely determined by whomever sounds the frummest”

    I don’t think that the entire system is based on external frumkeit, but it is something which needs to be taken into account, so that superficial frumkeit doesn’t take on a life of its own.

  9. Jewish Observer says:

    Everything Gedalia Litke writes is brilliant and to the point.

  10. Ahron says:

    I don’t think R. Ruderman, R. Weinberg, R. Auerbach z”tl, or (on the other hand?) R. Steinman would be shrinking violets about their preferences. And neither was R. Shach. In any event the standards of modern “frumkeit” are largely determined by whomever sounds the frummest. That trend has understandably led to chareidi sympathy for Neturei Karta.

  11. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “Israeli chareidism is not normative orthodoxy, it is an extreme reaction to zionism, but it is overdone and needs to be revisited”

    “I think this statement itself is not normative; but a reaction to the failurures of Charedism.”

    I thought all “isms” were treif :)

    I am wondering if bloggers are the first ones to use the term “Charedism”. Why not refer to “failings of the charedi community”, or to “weak points of charedi ideology”?

  12. Jewish Observer says:

    “meanwhile, we have to hold our heads high and not submit to their demands or feel second class to Israeli chareidism.We are much more successful.”

    – I think this statement itself is not normative; but a reaction to the failurures of Charedism. To point out that there is another way is one thing, but to be mevatel their (Israeli charedim’s) whole way is something else. I don’t believe that Rav Shach, Rav Steinmen, Rav Auerback, or even Rav Ruderman would agree with you that the NIRC style is objectively better. So on whom are we relying for such strong proouncements?

  13. L.Oberstein says:

    Of course Gedalia Litke is right. We are too deferential to the fanatics . Their approach has failed for 200 years. They are putting their fingers in the dike but it is not stopping the flood. In other words, forbidding getting college degree equilvilant programs for Bais Yaakov teachers in Israel because – get this – they may be exposed to a teacher who is “Mizrachi” or even chiloni is self destructive. All of my high school secular studies teachers in MTA were “frei” and we didn’t throw away our tefillin.
    My main concern is that my own grandchildren are being raised in this system .Israeli chareidism is not normative orthodoxy, it is an extreme reaction to zionism, but it is overdone and needs to be revisited. meanwhile, we have to hold our heads high and not submit to their demands or feel second class to Israeli chareidism.We are much more successful.

  14. Nachum Lamm says:

    I must echo Mr. Lipkin. I wonder: If it had been left-wing Israel (or secular American Jewish) professors, would she have made the same defense?

  15. Gedalia Litke says:

    Let me respond to the themes of the various comments:

    Some people seem to think that the Iranian leader has only a political issue with the State of Israel. The sentiment seems to be: “If that State would just disband then Iran would put its nuclear toys away and all would be well with world Jewry.” As if before Zionism the world loved us. The Satmar Rov ZTL was the pre-eminent Jewish voice of anti-Zionism, but he nonetheless encouraged US politicians to support the State because he understood, as is obvious, that anti-Zionism on the part of a non-Jew is of a piece with anti-the-Jews. I doubt there’s anything else the Iranians say which you trust, so why do you trust this? [Answer: because you like seeing Zionists squirm. No problem, but please, not at the expense of their lives. The Satmar Rov ZTL understood this, and we can too.]

    This band of kooks within NK has participated in a Holocaust Denial Conference [the press did NOT get the distinctions made in NK’s various speeches, etc] and has given public support to the guys who want to annihilate us. Sure, our tradition is replete with examples of ‘shtadlanus’ – quiet diplomacy to attempt to undo or pre-empt anti-Jewish policies. So here’s the rub: if this NK participation had really been a R Yochanan/Weissmandl kind of outreach, do you really think NK would have done it in a way that necessarily involved massive publicity and payments for and to the NKers? Did R Yochanan take money from the Romans? Did R Weissmandl brazenly ignore the dictates of the generation’s Torah leadership? Would the Iraninans have given this such public play if they didn’t understand how well these kooks fit into their own plans? How do the NKers justify endangering the Jews to save the world from Zionism which endangers the Jews?

    Bottom line: They are not meshuga, they are not naive. They are a determined (though tiny) enemy of G-d and the Jewish people who understand exactly what they are doing and do not find the ramifications troubling. They know that they are working their agenda only. If they cared about the Jews they would listen to any one of the many denunciations which has been issued by Charedi leadership.

    Please don’t get caught up in the Monsey analogy; the chicken guy was totally run out of town, but I can also argue both sides of the analogy – and I indicated that it might not be a perfect analogy. The main and fair point is that Charedim can and should do more to distance themselves from these NK activities. NK-ism of the type exhibited in Iran does derive from the principled anti-Zionism to which most Charedim appropriately subscribe. As such the Charedi community must take appropriate, legal, sustained action to attempt to shut them down. Failure to expend strenuous efforts to do so fairly invites the conclusion that the Charedi mindset is that “we’ll just throw some platitudes at it but, because it parades as anti-zionism, we’ll basically just let it be.”

  16. Jacob Haller says:

    Mycroft wrote

    “Just as the Baruch Goldstein monstorous mass murder caused consternation in the MO community-see eg R. A. Lichtenstein’s comments-so too should the actions of NK cause consternation in the chareidi community. Unfortunately, there is an non insignificant subset of Chareidi believers who refer snidely to Israel as “medinah of reishut”

    A leader of the MO community condemned Goldstein’s killing spree and many Charedi leaders condemned the NK’s visit to Tehran.

    Conversely, you accuse a “subset” of Charedi “believers” who apparently have not cleaned up a supposed residue of NK philosophy so therefore you’re saying the MO has seized a higher moral ground.

    However, you fail to reveal that many a “non insignificant subset” in the “MO” community consider (unfortunately) Rav Leichtenstein and his Meimad party which favors territorial compromise to be a bunch of sellouts while having no qualms about Goldstein’s actions.

    Your observation appears very subjective.

  17. Menachem Lipkin says:

    From Shira Schmidt:

    “I don’t know Persian but from what I understand Ahmadinajad talks about the demise of the state of Israel qua Jewish state (regime change?), which is not necessarily the demise of Jews who live in Israel.”

    Mrs. Schmidt is clearly helping to make the point that the NK is mearly the logical result of an idealogy that would deny G-d’s providence in helping to establish a national home for the Jews in their land. The NK and obviously Mrs. Schmidt as well are so blinded by their desire to undo the work of the “evil” Zionists that they are willing to give a voice to a person that much of the rational world sees as a raving lunatic.

    Mrs. Schmidt is willing to risk my life and that of my family in the naive assertion that Ahmadinajad merely wants the “demise of the Jewish State” which doesn’t “necessarily” mean my demise.

    Mrs. Schmidt probably believes that in Ahmadinajad’s threats to nuke Israel he’ll somehow drop a protective shield over B’nei Brak and the towns of others of those who merely want regime change here.

    Mrs. Schmidt obviously assumes that the new Moslem “regime” would be one of benevolence and caring that would treat its Jewish subjects with fairness and respect.

    To me Mrs. Schmidt’s statement, coming from someone as well read and intellectual as her, is far more threatening that a few NK wackos meeting with the world’s leading nutcase.

  18. Jewish Observer says:

    “the whole city dumped their dishwashers on his lawn”

    – sounds like a business oportunity for someone not into kashrus

  19. Jewish Observer says:

    “The individual who sold treif chickens in Monsey ran himself out of town ”

    – he knew he didn;t stand a chancde of surviving; which is a statement about the society

    “they have indeed been severely ostracized in their respective communities”

    – evidently not to the same degree as was Chicken of the Flee

  20. Tzvi says:

    Tal: The Monsey guy stayed in town. He only left after the whole city dumped their dishwashers on his lawn among him other headaches, and his wife threw him out of the house (demanded a get).

    Friedman’s wife also demanded a get. They weren’t staying together at the Boro Park Hotel over Shabbos. I wonder if it will slow him down at all.

  21. Tal Benschar says:

    The charge of a “double standard” is unfounded. The individual who sold treif chickens in Monsey ran himself out of town virtually the instant he realized he had been caught. The man thus understood he had done something wrong all along; his shame derived from being found out. (That in itself is an interesting psychological observation, albeit not pertinent to this discussion.)

    The NK sincerely believe they are doing klal yisroel a favor. Of course, as the Chofetz Chaim said, one fool can do more damage than ten reshaim, and the NK well exemplify this dictum. But be that as it may, they sincerely believe they have done nothing wrong.

    And the reality is, as I understand it, that they have indeed been severely ostracized in their respective communities, be they Monsey, Manchester, or whereever.

  22. chaim klein says:

    To the arguement that the involvement of NK in Iran as a mistaken and sincere effort to save Jewish live, it is my understanding that sincerity is certainly a value that is vital to the appropriate doing of mitzvot. However, sincerity alone is insufficient. I have no doubt that Nadav and Avihu were sincere in their rush to serve G-d, it was just done in a way that contravened His instructions. Chaim Klein

  23. Shira Schmidt says:

    28 b Tevet
    The language used in discussing Ahmadinajad is sometimes puerile (Neturey Karta are called “Iran-kissers” and worse) and dispassionate discussion of the issues is rare. Therefore it was a change of pace to read most of the comments above. I don’t know Persian but from what I understand Ahmadinajad talks about the demise of the state of Israel qua Jewish state (regime change?), which is not necessarily the demise of Jews who live in Israel. The demise of the U.S.S.R. did not involve the demise of the Russian people. There are opinions voiced in Israel (e.g. Merom Benviniste in Haaretz) that the Jews would have a better chance if Israel became a bi-national state. My understanding of NK is that they feel that for the time being Jews would fare better in a non-Jewish state in the Land of Israel. They may be naïve and wrong, but that doesn’t make them evil. Jews lived on the whole better in Arab lands over the centuries than in Europe (one reason that Sefardi mourning custom during the 3 weeks preceding Tisha B’av are milder.) With respect to the Holocaust, some NK members said clearly their forebears were slaughtered during that period and don’t deny the Holocaust. They point out that the Holocaust was and is used to shore-up the state of Israel, a lamentable way of defining Jewish identity. I am not defending them; only calling for rational discussion of them (as in some of the above commentators).

  24. Bob Miller says:

    Above, Steve Brizel has touched on some important points. Until all can recognize that different people can legitimately opt for different dress codes, career paths, etc. (within halachic limits, of course), we’ll be talking past one another. When’s the last time anybody paid to hear an all-oboe orchestra?

  25. zalman says:

    The Yigal Amir analogy is appropriate and the comments defending NK (“people who mistakenly think they are involved in saving Jewish lives”) only help make the case.

    Charedim (and Religious Zionists) must be alert to the potential byproducts of their message. If the byproducts cannot be eliminated by nuance, then we must consider toning down our message — even to our own community, even at the risk of accomplishing less.

  26. mycroft says:

    Just as the Baruch Goldstein monstorous mass murder caused consternation in the MO community-see eg R. A. Lichtenstein’s comments-so too should the actions of NK cause consternation in the chareidi community.
    Unfortunately, there is an non insignificant subset of Chareidi believers who refer snidely to Israel as “medinah of reishut” –evil government–and frankly if God forbid a tragedy that the State would disappear they would be upset at loss of Jewish life but would be happy that the evil Zionists disappear.
    I could go further than Rabbi Maryles that those even less vocal than Satmar by constant carping on evils of the State lead to an environment where helping those who want to destroy Israel get aid and comfort.
    This is not to take away from the many Chareid help organizations for all Jews-but there is this sad undercurrent.
    BTW-if one looks right around 1948 in general those who knew the Nazi killers or even the Arab treatments of Jews before 49 were much more open to the practical affects of Zionism.

  27. Akiva says:

    The difference is obvious. The chicken seller was caught red handed, knows and fully admits he was wrong. And ran himself out of town from embaressment. The NK believe they’re right and are proud of what they do. We have no means of dealing with such types.

  28. Steve Brizel says:

    Here is another example-Many DL/RZ view the arrival of any Charedim as the worst thing that could happen to their neighborhoods. The terminology that one hears is far too reminescent of too many stereotypes that one would hear in the US about ethnic groups, many of whose members don’t work, collect welfare, use food stamps and have large families. Even if one is not Charedi, but wears a suit, tie and hat on Shabbos or a jacket during the week with a non-knitted kippa in a DL shul, the presumption is that you are a Charedi invader.

    IMO, part of this disconnect is very simple-the RZ/DL world assumes almost as a Halacha LMoshe MiSinai that everyone must serve in the army and the Charedi world views kollel as similarly non-negotiable. However,one can maintain very compellingly that the IDF does not need everyone and that not every Charedi male should be sitting in learning, especially if he has talents that could be developed and utilized elsewhere. Yet, one cannot discuss these issues because to do so threatens the myths of both the RZ/DL and Charedi worlds.

  29. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that the rhetoric that the RZ and Charedi communities indulge in advancing their positions and the logic, to use a generous term, IMO, is part and parcel of the problem. Terms like “parasite”, “gun toting extremists” and worse are part of a political and ideological lexicon in EY when ,in fact, any reference by anyone , Jewish or non-Jewish,to such terminology in the US would be a political and sociological kiss of death. I have long been on record as advocating that RZ rethink their alliances with secular Zionists, especially in the wake of Gush Katif and when the most dangerous person in Israel is CJ AHaron Barak. Yet, when the Charedim arranged for a massive Asifas Tehilim that drew approximately 250,000 people, the DL/RZ world stayed away and still wonders about the power of Tehilim. IMO, too many Dl/RZ and Charedim focus on their important hashkafic differences, but forget that they keep the same mitzvos and study the same Torah. It is indeed a tragedy that their hashkafos are suppplanting their committment to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim when they should be taking even the smallest steps of mutual appreciation, as opposed to approval of each other. We all could take a lesson from the fact that RA Z Weiss spoke at the recent OU convention in Jerusalem and that RYSE and RHS met and discussed very important halachic issues.

  30. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “It’s a sad day if we or Jews in general have became incapable of making distinctions. Has exposure to the infantile modern media dumbed us down?”

    Exposure to the media definitely affects people’s clarity of thought. At the same time, because perception is a large component of chilul Hashem, the obligation rests squarely upon the charedi and Orthodox communities to avoid being seen as complicit. That’s why Agudah and other charedi groups felt it necessary to issue statements distancing themselves from Neteuri Karta, as opposed to, say, the OU doing the same.

    Similarly, I think that the charedi community needs to make a sustained effort, or at least publicize a game-plan, to distance itself from unacceptable zealotry in Eretz Yisrael(there has been a start); if there is silence or inaction, and people merely deflect the blame by pointing to media bias, then both outsiders and insiders rightfully compare the situation to other instances where the charedi or Orthodox world has taken decisive action when its own interests were at stake. From a Jewish standpoint as well, Kiddush Hashem should be no less important then tzniyis or Shmiras Shabbos.

  31. katrina says:

    re: fern’s comment #9, I know the xtians mean well, as do the NK’s

  32. Bob Miller says:

    This would not be the first time that, in some respects, something prohibited (here, maniacal NK activity to injure the State of Israel and its citizens) resembled something allowed (here, general chassidic objections to a secular State of Israel).

    It’s a sad day if we or Jews in general have became incapable of making distinctions. Has exposure to the infantile modern media dumbed us down?

  33. mdk says:

    re: Katrina’s specific halacha nk violates. how about you shall not profane then name of My Holiness- chillul hashem. Like it or not, the State of Israel represents God’s holy people to the world. By supporting its enemies and heaping curses on our nation while wearing bigdei shcorim [black clothing] they are heaping shame on all of us and on Hashem himself, rachmana latzlan.

  34. Jacob Haller says:

    A little too easy to get partisan about “our side”. Can one ask this question: Has the anti-Zionist Satmar (or any Charedi) group ever taken their anti-Zionist platform so far as to commit some kind of anti-Zionist act such as….murdering a Prime Minister of the State of Israel?

    After Yigal Amir (and please let’s not get sidetracked with non-sequitirs on his actual or supposed role) committed this act, many “Religious Zionists” were almost frozen in shock at the mainstream Israeli backlash directed primarily against this group vilifying all of their cultural attachments such as Bar-Ilan U, their now “fanatical” rabbis who supposedly encouraged Amir, or any neighborhood west of the “green line” and drawing the less than rational conclusion that they and not Hamas (for example) were the real “enemies of peace”. Of course this would change slightly 4 months later when dozens of Jews were murdered by Arab terrorists in a single week but oh my, what a price to pay for unity.

    No amount of condemnation on the part of Religious Zionists leaders was apparently enough to satisfy the mainstream at least in the media and that brings us to the concluding topic. Perhaps what appears in the media -in this case linkage of NK to general Charedi- is not the most reliable indicator of public/actual perception. We are not talking about academic dissertations where nuance, research and reason is in the best interests of the doctoral candidate but rather a medium where ultimately the bottom line is to sell papers and command viewing shares. This is not often accomplished through sober analyses of situations. Of course we need to remain vigilant and take every opportunity to villify these characters even if it seems futile just as it was when Relgious Zionists practically genuflected in apology and were laughed at by the mainstream media.

  35. HILLEL says:

    To Jewish Observer:

    Working with anti-semites to save Jews has an impressive pedigree in our history:

    1. Esther and Mordechai worked with Achashverosh to eradicate Haman and his many cohorts.

    2. Rabbi Yochanan worked with the Roman general Vespasian to save Yavneh and the remnants of the sages after the destruction of the second Temple.

    3. Rabbi Michael Dov Weismandel worked with Nazi SS generals to save tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust; ditto for the Sternbuchs in Switzerland.

    So, we always have to consider the possibility of working with our enemies to save Jewish lives.

    However, this requires very carefully balanced judgement, best left to the leading Torah sages of the generation, who have Daas Torah–a true Torah perspective.

    I have spoken at length to NK leaders. They are honestly convinced that they are involved in Jewish rescue. There are learned men among their leadership.

    They are, however, ignoring the stated opinions of the leading Torah sages of our generation that their path is not the true Torah path–that they are mistaken.

  36. horatio says:

    Ronald Reagan, whatever his other qualities (he caused great harm by appointing the meshumid Weinberger and by mishandling the Lebanese crisis), was not really connected to any religion. He never attended church. His trip to Bitberg honoring the SS men buried there should not put him in the category of Ahmedinejad either.

  37. Fern R says:

    Eh, this post seems to be missing supporting arguments. I’m not convinced that the Naturei Karta are the logical extension of the charedi hashkafa (and I’m not charedi, so I have no dog in this race). Almost any reasonable worldview can be taken to ridiculous lengths.

    Also, comparing Ronald Reagan to Ahmedinejad would be laughable if it wasn’t so revolting. In my opinion, such a comparison is extremely irresponsible and shows a lack of knowledge about Christians in general and Ronald Reagan in particular.

  38. Jewish Observer says:

    “Double Standard”

    – This is the first shtikel I’ve seen in CC that examines haredism with a critical (read: credible) eye. Keep it up! (if only for the cause of haredism itself)

  39. Jewish Observer says:

    “Is there a specific Halacha that they’ve violated?”

    – it’s got to be at least as bad as davening without a hat

  40. Jewish Observer says:

    “a group of people who mistakenly think they are involved in saving Jewish lives by pandering to the enemy”

    – how far can you take this argument? what if a group would mistakenly think it could save Jewish lives through promoting homosecualty or the Flatbush eruv? Is there not a point where we say that there is an objective good and evil?

  41. dovid says:

    Mr. Litke, as a matter of fact, the Chareidi community has been taking action. I cut and pasted the following from JPost:

    Moshe Aryeh Friedman, a member of the Natorei Karta, who attended the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran last month, was asked to leave a hotel in Brooklyn over the weekend, where he was staying with his wife and four children. It was the latest in a string of protests against the anti-Zionist sect.
    Friedman entered the Park House hotel in Borough Park on Wednesday using his wife’s maiden name, hotel managers said. On Friday, Friedman was recognized by people in the neighborhood. By Friday afternoon, a small group of people had gathered outside the hotel on 43rd St. to protest his presence.
    When word reached hotel employees that Friedman was staying at the hotel, a manager called the New York Police Department to have him removed. But the police said they could not legally remove him, reported hotel manager Israel Tyberg.

  42. katrina says:

    But can it be proven that the NK’s “chicken isn’t kosher”? Is there a specific Halacha that they’ve violated? Because according to the NK’s they are trying to “save” Jewish lives by showing Muslim’s and the world that not all Jews are zionists. So it’s not like they are agreeing with the Holocaust minimizers and denyers. In what way does this differ from Jews who visited Ronald Reagan or other xtian presidents? The only difference I see is that Muslims want to obliterate Jews physically whereas xtians want to anhiliate us spiritually.

  43. Harry Maryles says:

    Gedalia… I’m so proud of you! :)

    I have been saying exactly the same thing but I am accused of Charedi bashing. But coming from the cross-currents blog, it is going to be very hard to accuse this line of thinking as Charedi bashing.

    When you have Satmar cursing the government of Israel at every turn they cannot turn around and say that Neturei Karta is a fringe group of Reshaim that should be put in Cherem. Neturei Karta is just reductio ad absurdum of the Satmar argument. They have taken the Satmar’s cursing the State of Israel past the point of acceptability by kissing a man who would wipe Israel off the map and denies the holocaust.

    But the truth is that Neturei Karta’s ideology about the existence of the State of Israel is the same as Satmar. They both believe it should not exist and it violates Halacha by its very existence. The only difference is the extent to which they act on their views.

  44. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “…Charedim cannot simultaneously attempt to distance themselves from the natural by-products of their own movement. Religious Zionists and Charedim must each honestly acknowledge and attempt to root out their respective problem areas. Failure to even attempt to do so gives the clearest indication of values truly held, not merely espoused.”

    I agree.

    The same goes for any Orthodox or charedi problem(important social issues, excesses of Kannoim in Israel, disputes amongst chasidic groups etc.). All groups in question need to communicate to the public that they are at least, as you imply, attempting to solve a particular problem, and have a game plan, even a long-term one, for doing so. Otherwise the perception is that the groups are complicit, and a less than objective media and public will certainly not look beyond perceptions. It is not necessarily in their control to solve the problem immediately, because the issues are complex.

  45. HILLEL says:

    Gedalia:

    How can you compare someone who knowingly sabotages kashruth with a group of people who mistakenly think they are involved in saving Jewish lives by pandering to the enemy!